Not all leviathans have a gleaming reputation, but none other have the black stigma that surrounds the Philopoemen. An Edward VII-class leviathan, the Philopoemen has had a brutal reputation under its captain, "Black Jack" John Christian. Even though minor infractions are punished by floggings and the use of Christian's "God Walk" (a six inch wide plank is lowered from the Philopoemen, and the convicted man must walk on it untethered as the vessel sails), morale on the Philopoemen is surprisingly good. Some suspect this is due to the threats that Christian and his officers use to motivate the crew.
But the Philopoemen's reputation is largely derived from its actions in Calcutta. When on a layover, several of the Philopoemen's crew were found dead in the streets after a particular long night's roughhousing. In retaliation, Christian used the Philopoemen to level the entire quarter where his men had been found, as a lesson to all present regarding "the sanctity of a white man's life."
First Sea Lord Fisher has admonished Christian for his actions, but as yet has not removed the Sky Captain from service. Rumor has it that Admiral Fisher despises Christian, but relies on him to use the leviathan in actions in which other Sky Fleet captains have either balked or, more likely, raised moral objections.